Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ceisteanna (328, 339)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

328. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to make changes to the BER system to incorporate district heating; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13207/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

339. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the way in which the potential for district heating is incorporated into building regulations in terms of allowing such a system to help developers meet compliance with sustainable energy criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13202/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 328 and 339 together.

The Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997 to 2017 (which are made under the Building Control Act 1990, as amended) set out the minimum legal requirements applicable to the construction of all new buildings, extensions to existing buildings, as well as material alterations and certain material changes of use to existing buildings. These requirements are set out in 12 parts, classified as Parts A to M. The accompanying Technical Guidance Documents (TGDs) provide guidance on how owners, builders, developers and designers can achieve compliance in practice.

Part L of the regulations deals with Conservation of Fuel and Energy. It provides that the energy performance of the building is such as to limit the calculated primary energy consumption and related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions insofar as is reasonably practicable, when both are calculated using the Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) for Dwellings and the Non Domestic Energy Assessment Procedure (NEAP) for buildings other than dwellings, published by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

TGD L and associated assessment procedures (DEAP & NEAP) recognise and facilitate district heating as a means for showing compliance with the requirements of Part L. Currently, DEAP accounts for small scale district heating systems that would typically provide heating for 1500 to 2000 dwellings. As part of the implementation of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB), the assessment procedures, DEAP and NEAP, are both being reviewed to account for renewable energy and combined heat and power from large scale district heating systems.

It should be noted that the BER system uses both DEAP and NEAP for calculating the energy performance of buildings and currently takes account of the energy provided by district heating systems.